News Briefs: International News


Ex-Iraqi pilots are reportedly training ISIS militants

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that ex-Iraqi fighter pilots are training ISIS militants to fly three war planes that were captured from a Syrian air base. The planes were reportedly seen flying over the Jarrah air base in the small Syrian town, Aleppo. The rights group said that the planes have avoided detection by Syrian military radar thus far by flying at a low altitude.

According to Col. Patrick Ryder, the spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, the Pentagon was “not aware” of these flight operations in Syria.

“We continue to keep a close eye on (ISIS) activity in Syria and Iraq and will continue to conduct strikes against their equipment, facilities, fighters and centers of gravity, wherever they may be,” Ryder said.

Mayor of Rome registers 16 gay marriages

Though gay marriage is illegal in Italy, the mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, has registered 16 gay marriages celebrated in other countries like the United States, Spain and Portugal, reported ABC News. The 16 couples gathered in the city hall reception room as Marino made their marriages official in Rome by transcribing the date and location of their wedding in the city’s ledger.

This act was met with praise and protest. The couples said that the registration was an important step, but the Italian bishops’ conference said it was unacceptable that Marino registered the weddings as the two -week summit about traditional family values was ending at The Vatican.

Nigerian government announces ceasefire and release of kidnapped schoolgirls

The Nigerian military and Boko Haram have agreed to a ceasefire and Boko Haram has agreed to release the schoolgirls they abducted, a BBC News article indicated. The kidnapping of these 200 school-girls six months ago caused worldwide outrage and criticism of the Nigerian government for not being able to find and retrieve the girls. Nigerian presidential aide Hassan Tukur said that a deal was made after a month of negotiations mediated by Nigeria’s neighboring country, Chad.

Many in Nigeria remain skeptical about this announcement since the terror group has yet to make a statement about the truce and because this truce happens to coincide with the announcement of President Goodluck Jonathan’s run for re-election.

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